November 14, 2011 1:09pm PT by Rebecca Ford
'Hunger Games' Trailer: What the Movie Buffs Are Saying
The first full-length trailer for The Hunger Games premiered on Monday, and, according to the reactions of film experts, the odds seem to be ever in the Lionsgate film's favor.
Set for a March 2012 release, the film based on the novel by Suzanne Collins features Jennifer Lawrence as 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the futuristic world of Panem.
PHOTOS: The Hunger Games Official Character Posters
The trailer shows Katniss illegally hunting in the outskirts of her District 12 with Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and then volunteering for the Games when her sister is chosen in the reaping. Viewers get to see glimpses of Katniss and fellow tribute Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) training for the games, and the final scene is of the 24 tributes being dropped into the deathly competition.
Overall, initial opinions of the trailer were favorable, although some experts are curious how the rest of the Gary Ross-helmed film will play out.
“It's a tonally interesting bit of world building based on the footage we've seen here, and I'm really liking the sense of reality that the trailer establishes,” writes HitFix’s Drew McWeeny.
PHOTOS: 'Hunger Games' First Look: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson
“Jennifer Lawrence looks like she's going to be a strong presence as Katniss Everdeen,” he added.
“What we're not quite sold on is Ross' take on the futuristic dystopia; somewhere between Gattaca and Speed Racer, it's sort of distinctive, but the Lady Gaga-by-way-of-Aeon Flux look of Banks and Tucci, and Wes Bentley's indescribable facial hair, could risk coming off as silly at great length,” wrote Oliver Lyttelton of Indiewire.
“And, while we're sure that the goods are being kept under wraps for now (and it's refreshing to see a trailer that doesn't give everything away), we do hope that the games themselves involve more than people running through a field,” added Lyttelton.
VIDEO: 'Hunger Games' Trailer Premieres, Reveals the Dark World of Panem
“Director Gary Ross seems to have gone all out in capturing the Capitol's opulence with the garish Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks, cheerfully determining the fates of these impoverished kids,” wrote The Los Angeles Times’ Nicole Sperling.
“I can’t think of a more brilliant way to end the trailer to director Gary Ross’ movie than watching a terrified Katniss and Peeta, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, racing for their backpacks and the protection of the woods,” wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Karen Valby.
“The smartest move made with the two-and-a-half minute trailer was showing everything leading up to the games. The only glimpse we get inside the arena comes at the very end, as the Tributes rush the cornicopia and pick up their weapons,” wrote Jarett Wieselman of The Insider.
“From Jennifer Lawrence's steely gaze to the look of the Capitol to the perfect hair of Elizabeth Banks and Stanley Tucci, as Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman respectively, the first trailer for 'The Hunger Games' looks exactly like fans of the book would want it to look,” wrote Moviefone’s Christopher Rosen.
View the full Hunger Games trailer here.